Keeping it Local: WOÉZÕ, Bed-Stuy

On a recent frigid Friday evening, I settled in to one of my favorite neighborhood spots - Bed-Stuy Fresh and Local - for my first Feastly dinner experience. Accompanied by Kasia and Sara (aka Crop Top Mafia), we staked out three spots at a communal table set up in the middle of the grocery, and (im)patiently awaited for instructions. The chef, Mitch, spent a chunk of time in Togo and started this WOÉZÕ concept in New York City. The word means "welcome" in Ewé and Mitch has set out to serve up authentic Togolese cuisine combined with regional New York flavors and local ingredients.

As the night's DJ eased into her set, the initial cocktail was served. A sorrel-bissap (bissap= hibiscus tea) libation sweetened with Hudson Valley maple syrup and shaken with Dorothy Parker gin, the intro drink was quite good. The dinner was a bit delayed, so we enjoyed seconds (quelle surprise).

The meal began with a simple, spicy avocado-corn salad and white yam fries with a ginger gazpacho that both worked well. We continued with the main, a mix of stewed beef (or mushrooms for the veggies in the crowd) and okra topped with homemade hot sauce and la pate (a thick, pastey mixture of corn flour, water, salt, olive oil, and garlic). We wrapped with some fresh mango and pineapple, chocolate, and Johnny Walker Black (or Guinness...but we went straight for the scotch). 

The meal was good, and the concept better. Though we exactly didn't leave with a slew of new friends and new favorite cuisine, it was a fresh way to spend a Friday evening, and I have my eyes set on a Brazilian brunch/Bossa Nova event next.